Not every bright star has the energy to shine forever. There are many coins that once were in the top 10 that are now at the end of the list, or have failed completely. Some coins were outright scams, and others faded due to internal problems or technical difficulties.
It is important to see through the hype of a coin, and find out what is the coin’s actual function, what makes it unique and even better than other coins and tokens. User adoption and partnerships are the next thing to look at; how many people own the coin (the marketplace) and use it to pay for services, and what other companies are involved with the project. Next, what is their marketing strategy and who is managing it for them.
Diamonds are most valuable once they’re found, polished, and set. This is when it is most attractive to a buyer. A rough uncut diamond is fine, but how many people buy raw materials as opposed to finished jewelry?
Let’s have a look at a few coins that were once giants in the marketplace, and now either no longer exist or at least have lost all relevance in the cryptosphere.
PayCoin, in January of 2015, was ranked #4, with a market cap of $39.4 million dollars, selling at $3.20 each. An amazing achievement for a total scam, with the largest pre-mine in history – 12 million of 12.5 million coins circulating at the time of release. Very long story short, it made enough money and gained enough attention for the IRS and SEC to get involved. Eventually, the CEO pleaded guilty to fraud. Despite that, it is still ranked #1144 today and is valued at just over $0.02 each, with a tiny amount of trading volume on YoBit.
MegaCoin was ranked #10 in January 2014, with a market cap of $18.1 million dollars. Around 18 million coins were in circulation, at $0.83 each. MegaCoin is a Litecoin clone that was pre-mined by the developer for a week before the coin actually launched. Before anyone else had the chance to buy or mine the coin, around 6 million coins had already been accumulated by a few people. It is currently ranked #869 – propped up by the power of a fanatical community, which at one time believed it would overtake Bitcoin. Presently each coin is worth just above $0.02.
AuroraCoin was an attempt at a good idea, but ultimately failed due to difficulties in exchanging it to fiat. It was an attempt to create a national cryptocurrency for the country of Iceland, which had just recovered from a banking collapse not long before. At its peak in March 2014 it ranked #3, with a market cap of $318 million dollars, each coin going for almost $30. Today, it is ranked #626 with each coin worth just over $0.60. The full story can be found here. Of the coins on this list, this is the only one with the potential to grow again, now that the government of Iceland has given it a legal pathway for exchange.
July 12th, 2015 was the height of the complicated scam that had people purchase Banx Shares, which for a time were only tradeable on banx.io – which forced a price floor, keeping the value from deflating. On this date, it supposedly ranked #10 in market cap with $13.1 million dollars spread over just over 6 million coins in circulation, at a price of $2.01 each. This “official” price was just an illusion by the team behind the project, as the shares weren’t publically tradable. A long time, and a lot of money later, this scam which lasted for 2 years, finally collapsed. To read the full story, check out this article.
Quark has not failed and shut down completely, but in January of 2014, this was the 9th largest overall coin, with a market cap of $22.5 million dollars, with a circulating supply of 224 million coins, trading around $0.09 each. Today, Quark is ranked #664, with a market cap of just over 4 million dollars. Each coin now trades a little over $0.01 cent. This project had a solid community, but was doomed by internal problems, lack of transparency, and some development flaws that could not be corrected. A resounding and profound opinion voiced by developer entropyofdays in this thread here described the downfall of Quark, which also led to the turning point for crypto projects in becoming more transparent today than they once were.
Although we have mentioned a few coins, there are many more than what is mentioned here. It is still the job of any investor to do their due diligence and ensure as much as possible that their investment is protected by checking the people behind a project, and making sure that the project itself makes sense and is sound in its proposition.